Percy’s breath was getting more ragged as each second ticked by. It had to be over soon, the giants would be beaten-wouldn’t they? He glanced over at his comrades, orange and purple blurring into a messy haze of despair. Had it really all come down to this? The camps, finally united, the Athena Parthenos, finally returned, the doors actually closed, yet here he was, fighting a losing battle against the giants. The gods hadn’t even acknowledged the battle, apparently too busy ‘saving strength’. For what? There wouldn’t be anything else to save it for when the lost the battle. If they lost, not when they lost, Percy reminded himself. You haven’t lost so much to fail now. But at the same time, can one teenage boy get lucky a thousand times? His life as a demigod seemed so pointless, the victories so trivial if he was going to lose now. Annabeth’s blonde hair flashed into his rear vision, He spotted Piper’s blue harpy feather in the crowd, even Jason’s blonde hair stood out to Percy. Even if he did lose now, he realized, it wouldn’t be for nothing. He thought about the mortals he had saved, the monsters he had defeated as his body moved by itself, almost muscle memory as Riptide glowed and turned monster after monster into dust.
When it seemed as if every muscle in his body would suddenly ignore his commands, he replaced the towering giants in front of him with every bully he’d ever faced, every monster he’d had the pleasure of fighting more than once. He thought of Luke, his first ever sword teacher as Riptide’s blade twisted and turned. He saw Jason fly, or to be more precise, ‘control the winds’ to survey the battle. Silver arrows of Artemis’ Hunters caught the light as they sailed through the air. Pineapples (spiky enough) were hurled towards the enemy from Piper’s cornucopia. Jewels were appearing everywhere Hazel ran (she was very stressed). Frank stood still, strong- not as an animal, but as Frank Zhang, an archer. Leo was shooting fire from his palms as rapid as machine gun fire as he shouted obscenities at the giants, ranging from the casual “TAKE THAT FATTIES” to the more creative “SHOVE THAT WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE!”. And then Annabeth. He could feel her presence at his back, instinctively guarding his old Achille’s Heel. She meant everything to him, but he would never need to protect her. Annabeth could more than protect herself. As each of his friend’s faces came into view, Percy was filled with hope. Hope that they could win, hope that even if they didn’t, as long as he had these few around him he would be alright.
Percy was jolted back into reality by the great booming voice he had become all too familiar with over the past year. As another ally was brought down Mother Nature seemed to grow stronger, leaves and branches churning into the sort of hurricane Percy and Jason were able to create. They were losing numbers quickly, red becoming an all too common colour among the orange and purple. Still, they were making progress- almost all of the monsters had been defeated- which left the giants. But the giants couldn’t be defeated without the help of gods. And the chances of that happening were… a little too slim for Percy’s liking. The Roman demigods had brought one of the statues that guarded their city limits, but a statue couldn’t do much against a whole army of Gaia’s personal slaves.
Percy jabbed Riptide hard into the well built calf of a giant. He was beginning to get tired, beginning to lose faith, and felt as if the contents of Pandora’s box had been dumped upon him. He must have been a fraction of a second too slow, because instead of narrowly escaping a blow like he had been doing all his life, the giant flung him across the room right into the clear (for good reason) path of Gaia. By now the hurricane had the rough shape of a woman, and features on the face were beginning to form. Huh, Percy thought, she’s more delicate than I was picturing her. My last thought, and it’s about the earth goddess’ face. Typical Seaweed Brain.
The sea god’s son was losing more strength by just standing next to Gaia, and by now was having a hard time focusing on the finer details of the battle. He had some brief recollection of Leo going a little bit firey-literally- with his words. Losing to dirt face. Percy almost smiled to himself. He thought about the irony- fighting minators, medusa, even winning to the war god himself – and now he was going to die to a pile of leaves. “THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE SEVEN-PERSEUS JACKSON.” Percy groaned- now it was official, this was happening to him, Percy Jackson , not some far off distant demigod he could pretend to be before packing it in and going home. The use of his full name brought Percy to fights with his mom before he knew he was a demigod, back when this kind of stuff was in the books he read for school. “AT LAST, I HAVE YOU INSOLENT CHILD AT MY FEET. YOU SHALL BE MINE” Gaia screamed, filled with the kind of sick passion that is both terrifying and addictive to watch. “YOURS SHALL BE THE BLOOD OF OLYMPUS”. Her voice filled every crack, every cranny and every tree, leaf and flower acted as her personal bullhorn, amplifying her every command. Coach Hedge would like that, Percy thought. Another classic from Seaweed Brain. A sharp javelin like object came into view as it was lowered closer and closer to Percy’s forehead. “ONE STAB AND IT’S OVER”. Time seemed to slow down. The battle seemed distant and trivial, another universe away from right now. He was beginning to come to terms with death in a way. At least now all his friends would be safe- it always was his fatal flaw and it had come down to this. At least it would be over. At least he would be safe- for what must have been the first time in his life.
As the spear inched closer to Percy’s face he began to smell the familiar scent of salt water, which always stuck to him and couldn’t be masked by any mortal cologne. Suddenly the spear was yanked upwards by some unknown force. The battle sped up into real time and his senses rushed back to him. He looked around for his savior, then saw him. His dad. Poseidon. “Oh Perseus. Well Done boy.” “What? Dad? I thought you were ‘saving your strength’” Percy stuttered, in disbelief
“Oh but we were. For this”. With that the other 11 Olympians, plus minor gods and goddesses materialized in the battle space. The remaining demigods couldn’t afford to drop their weapons, but they all stared in awe as their instincts took over. The twelve Olympian Gods and Goddesses were still both Roman and Greek, but the two sides were no longer in conflict- they were in harmony. Percy spotted Dionysus in a typical Hawaiian shirt- but holding Diet Pepsi, Zeus in his usual pinstriped suit, but with a much tougher expression.
The Olympians joined their sons and daughters in the final push. Gaia’s giants were caught by surprise as they barely had time to register what was happening as their 12 foot bodies slammed to the floor. One, then two, three, four, giants down. Percy saw Jason-and Jupiter combine their winds as one, Hazel, Nico and Hades/Pluto weigh the giant down with jewels in his clothes before finishing him off with magic. He saw Leo and Hephaestus burn theirs down before hosing him off with a newly built fire extinguisher, Frank and Ares order the assorted demigods as an army to pull their giant down, then Ares finished him off. He saw Annabeth and Athena weave the monster a trap before letting Piper and Aphrodite charm him into it.
There was one giant left. The biggest, of course. On instinct, Percy and Poseidon turned - and stood ready. “Shall we?” Poseidon asked his son. “Didn’t need to be asked.”
Percy felt the familiar tug in his gut as he fought past the fatigue and pulled up the largest amount of water he had ever been able to in his 17 years as a demigod. Poseidon seemed to have brought forth an ocean or two as the pair worked in harmony, as equals, each one of the best in their own fields. The giant fell, and without asking, Percy pulled out his pen and jabbed the giant in the chest. Dead.
A wash of relief, the first in about what seemed like 10 years, flooded over Percy. Until he saw the huge mess that was the Earth goddess. “No! Why is she still here?” he yelled in agony.
“Oh don’t worry about that old thing. She’s covered.”
No one at that battle was quite sure about what happened in those final moments- but it is certain that a blinding flash came about as all twelve Olympians revealed their true forms. Unlike every time before, Percy found he could finally look at what was before him- but he just didn’t want to. In a whirlwind of light, leaves and sticks flew everywhere as the demigods huddled together, eyes closed. Suddenly a silence came over the room. This can’t be it.. Can it? We didn’t die did we? Percy thought. Suddenly a buzz of conversation entered the woods “I was doing the dishes..” “suddenly I’m here” “well I guess it’s about Percy…” He heard snatches of conversation before he opened his eyes. Gaia was gone. Before anything else, Percy knelt down and sobbed. It was over. It was done. He was safe. “Oh my baby!” Sally Jackson’s voice carried over the hum of the room. “Mom?’ Percy asked in disbelief. With that he looked around the room. All around him stood those that had been with him through the good times- and the bad. Chiron, Rachel Dare, even Paul Blofis. He glanced at his father, Poseidon- who just winked. “Thought you could use some friends”. Tears and hair became a messy mix as his mother hugged him with only a strength in the hug a mother can give. The familiar scent of the candy shop where she worked wafted in between Poseidon’s salty aroma. They broke apart as Percy ran to Annabeth. “We.. we.. did it” Percy stuttered. “Well what a way to state the obvious, seaweed brain” Annabeth replied as they kissed with a passion that only those that have been to hell and back together (literally) can share. Percy joined the other 6 demigods as they sat in silence as they came to terms with the fact that it was over. Jason and Piper were absorbed in each other, laughing and kissing with relief. Frank and Hazel sat in silence, holding hands but shell
shocked at what they had just done. Leo was kissing a blonde head that reminded Percy of a certain immortal girl he had once met… He and Thalia shared the longest hug they’d ever had-before electrocuting and dousing each other, then breaking into grins-just like old times. Tyson and the Cyclopes nearly crushed him in a hug. As Percy’s eyes skimmed the room, struggling to believe it all, he saw a face that brought back a thousand memories and more. A familiar rasta cap bobbed as the much deeper voice came from the mouth above a bushy beard. “I was just on the subway, like a mortal, eating a peanut butter sandwich, then bam! I’m here” the satyr said to his girlfriend to explain the peanut butter in his hair. He caught the demigod’s eyes. “PERCYY” he shouted, running (which isn’t easy on hooves) towards the demigod. “Grover.. I..”
“Thought you’d seen the last of me huh? You know- with that empathy link there was a moment there I thought you- we- weren’t going to make it.” Grover said as the two broke away from a hug.
“oh my gods Grover I haven’t seen you in months. Do I miss you..”
“of course you do! Well, I’ve been spreading the word about Pan- care to take a leaflet? And yeah, keeping in Juniper’s good books!” Grover said.
“Oh.. your face brings back so many memories” Percy said.
“and yours.” Grover agreed.
“I can’t believe it’s over… remember our Yancy days?” asked Percy.
“do I remember them? Of course! It’s where I met you!” Grover said, “Come on, let’s talk it out. With everyone.”
Everyone, (including the 12 Olympians much to Zeus’ reluctance) joined the pair in one godly sized group hug.
“Oh.. and.. you know you have peanut butter in your hair?” Percy asked his best friend.
“It’s okay. I like peanut butter.”